A Bad Day’s Work by Nora McFarland
McFarland’s less than assured debut introduces TV camerawoman Lilly Hawkins, who knows her job at KJAY in Bakersfield, Calif., could hinge on how she covers a middle-of-the-night murder. What she doesn’t realize until all the rough stuff starts is that her life might depend on it as well. That the tape she took at the crime scene appears to be blank doesn’t deter the bad guys from vying to get their hands on it–or, failing that, Lilly herself. Among them are the pair of crooked cops she suspects may be working for Leland Warner, megabucks owner of the orchard where the victim was found, and Tom Sinclair, Warner’s scuzzy son-in-law. McFarland, herself a former “shooter” for a Bakersfield TV station, nails the newsroom as well as her feisty, funny accidental sleuth, but she’s less adept at pacing. One hopes she’ll rely less on exposition and more on action to tell her story in Lilly’s next outing.